NexTower Project wins Innovation Award Contest

For the significant contribution to the standardisation of advanced ceramic materials. An important milestone for Certimac, responsible for amending the international standard.

Great success for the NexTower project winner of the CEN-CENELEC Standards+Innovation Award 2020 in the 'Projects' category.


NexTower won the prestigious award thanks to its contribution to the standardisation necessary for the market transfer of new technologies and innovative materials developed to increase the performance of atmospheric air tower solar concentration systems (CSP).


A huge satisfaction for the whole partnership and in particular for Certimac, which not only developed - together with UNE - the proposed amendment to the existing standard, ISO 18755, but was also officially appointed as project leader for the standard revision project.


>> Watch the award ceremony in streaming


>> See the list of Innovation Award Contest nominees


NexTower: advanced technical materials for the energy market of tomorrow


NEXTOWER is co-funded by European Commission within the HORIZON 2020 Framework Programme - CALL for “Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology And Production” (Call identifier: H2020-NMBP-2016-2017), in the fields of Innovation Action funding scheme.


The project shall introduce a set of innovative materials to increase the performance of atmospheric air-based concentrated solar power (CSP) tower systems to make them commercially competitive in the energy market beyond 2020.

The project takes an integrated approach that starts by optimizing the durability of the ceramic materials to achieve 20-25 years of maintenance-free service receiver components, while increasing their operating temperature for thermodynamic efficiency.


Amendment to ISO18755 - Thermophysical characterisation of advanced ceramics


Within the project, a crucial role is played by advanced ceramic materials. Of particular importance are their heat transfer properties that affect the performance of the entire system.


Certimac developed a proposal for an amendment to the existing standard, ISO 18755.


The goal of the amendment proposed by Certimac, in partnership with UNE, consists in the elaboration of an additional appendix aimed at integrating all the elements (currently missing) for a complete characterisation of the material from a thermophysical point of view.


The necessary conditions for the determination of the specific heat of the ceramic materials under consideration will therefore be introduced and described, thus enabling, given the thermal diffusivity, specific heat and density, the extrapolation of thermal conductivity.


The amendment request was accepted by the relevant bodies and Certimac was chosen as coordinator for the entire process.


Advantages of the amendment to ISO 18755


The added value of the integration proposal consists in being able to comprehensively characterize the material under consideration with a single instrument and following a single reference standard.


This allows, at the level of the production process, a reduction of analysis time, characterisation activities and a possible reduction of time to market for new engineered materials.


  • ISO 18755:2005 Advanced engineering ceramics - Determination of thermal diffusivity of monolithic ceramics using the laser flash method
  • ISO / TC 206 Technical Committee ISO in the field: Advanced technical ceramics
  • CEN / TC 184 Technical Committee CEN in the area: Advanced technical ceramics
  • EN 821-2:1997 Advanced technical ceramics. Monolithic ceramics. Thermophysical properties. Determination of thermal diffusivity by laser flash method

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